A "suspicious" white powder, which has been identified as cocaine, was found in the White House over the weekend.
Agents from the United States Secret Service discovered the powdery substance in the West Wing on Sunday, July 2. The area was immediately ordered to be closed down for the time being to allow authorities to investigate the item.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Washington's fire department and emergency services have determined the material to be cocaine, an addictive drug that is considered illegal in the country.
This is in line with the results of a test of the substance by hazmat crew officials, wherein they found a "yellow bar saying cocaine hydrochloride."
In a statement by Anthony Guglielmi, spokesman for the Secret Service, specialists are now further evaluating the substance. Members of the law enforcement are also trying to investigate the cause and manner of how it was brought inside the premises.
The West Wing contains the Oval Office, the cabinet room and press area, and offices and workspace for the president's staff. While Reuters reported that "hundreds of people work in or come through the West Wing regularly," US President Joe Biden and his family were not at the White House when the substance was found.
This is not the first time that a presidential building had been under careful investigation over a powdered substance. Back in 2018, a package was sent to an office building where former US President Barack Obama leases space and was found to have contained "an unknown powdery substance." After the item was investigated by Washington police and fire officials, the substance was later found to be harmless.